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For their own good
Fifty years ago, they were screwed-up kids sent to the Florida School for Boys to be straightened out. But now they are screwed-up men, scarred by the whippings they endured. Read the story and see a video and portrait gallery.
"She is the Queen," added Chatman with a gentle laugh. "She's very confident in what she says and does, but it comes from a good place."
That being Hodges' passion to win and her willingness to do whatever she thought it took.
They are traits that have served her and FSU well. After sitting out a year in accordance with transfer rules, Hodges quickly emerged as the star and leader for the surprising Seminoles.
Despite the death of one player (forward Ronalda Pierce in June) and the loss of their top returner (guard Shante Williams) for personal reasons, the Seminoles have reached the NCAA Tournament for just the fifth time in program history. Seeded sixth, they open play against No. 11 seeded Richmond tonight in Storrs, Conn. Both teams are 23-7.
Hodges averages a team-high 19 points, as well as 5.7 rebounds and 1.5 assists. The 5-foot-11 senior was named to the first-team All-ACC and Women's Basketball Coaches Association Region II All-America teams, the first Seminole so honored since 1982.
"I don't think she's exceeded my expectations with her performance, but I think she has with her leadership," FSU coach Sue Semrau said. "People follow her."
Chatman gushes about Hodges, adding that she keeps up with how she's doing and is constantly asked about her by fans.
"Queen still has a strong following here," she said. "She's just a great kid. It's no surprise to me what she's been able to bring to the table there."
There have been many regal moments for Hodges this season. She set an FSU single-game record with 39 points in a win against Maryland. She's had 12 games of 20 or more points, including seven in ACC play and one in the ACC tournament.
"Oh, man, she's a tremendous talent," Maryland coach Brenda Frese said.
That might never have been more evident than at Wake Forest in mid February. The Seminoles were down 10 with 3:43 left, but during a timeout Hodges made it clear who was in charge - of the moment and the game.
"I finished talking to them and Queen grabbed (senior) Linnea (Liljestrand) by both shoulders and said, "This is what we're going to do,' " Semrau said.
"She is vocal and she's very blunt," junior guard Ganiyat Adeduntan said. "She doesn't hold back at all, but it's taken the right way."
Hodges didn't score down the stretch in that game, but did all the little things (rebound, defend, set screens, draw defenders) as the Seminoles rallied for a 71-69 win.
"That's my role, being a leader by example and any way I can," she said. "If that means I have to get in somebody's face and say, "Look (whatever),' that's my role."